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While various species of Cycads can be found throughout the world, the subtropical C. revoluta is native to the Far East and has been used as a choice container and landscape plant for centuries. The growth habit of Cycas revoluta displays an upright trunk with a diameter from 1" to 12" depending on age, topped with stiff feather-like leaves growing in a circular pattern. Rather than continuously adding foliage, Sagos produce a periodic "flush" of new leaves, called a "break". Eventually, offsets begin to grow at the base of the specimen, and occasionally in the crown. The addition of offsets provides a source of new plants and many possibilities for developing an unique specimen.
Regardless of age or size, Cycas revoluta is one of the easiest plants to grow, indoors or out, by beginner or expert. This subtropical adapts to a wide range of temperatures from 15 to 110 degrees F (-11 to 42 degrees C), accepts full sun or bright interior light, thrives with attention, and tolerates neglect. In addition, Cycads are extremely long-lived. A 220 year old specimen of Encephalartos, a relative of Cycas revoluta, is on display at the Royal Botanic Garden, Kew England; the restoration of the famous Palm House required it to be temporarily transplanted to a holding area for more than a year; the move was successful and is an example of the durability of these ancient "living fossils".
TEMPERATURE RANGE is from 15 to 110 degrees F (-11 to 42 C). Temperatures in the high teens may frost-damage leaves which may turn yellow or brown. Remove these to reduce stress on the plant and encourage new leaves in the spring. If temperatures fall below 15, the sago may die, however, as long as the trunk and leaf crown is hard wood, it should recover. If the trunk turns soft, your sago may be damaged beyond recovery. Our field of sago palms survived 11 degrees, a century low in South Texas, however large live oak trees planted throughout the "sago patch" provided some protection. We removed all the damaged leaves and the sagos grew new ones the following spring.
HUMIDITY range is from dry to wet.
LIGHT: Sagos grow in full sun, but adapt to outdoor shade or an indoor area which receives bright light or a few hours of morning or afternoon sun.
RATE OF GROWTH is extremely slow. The fastest rate observed in South Texas commercial production (which has excellent growing conditions of hot summers and mild winters) under 30% shade is three new sets of leaves and an increase of 1" (3 cm) of height and trunk diameter per year. When grown as potted indoor specimens, Cycads may add only one set of new leaves every year or two and remain somewhat the same size (one reason they are excellent for bonsai).
SOIL should be well drained and rich in humus, although these durable plants seem to grow in almost anything. In the landscape or garden, be sure to plant Sagos slightly above the soil line and not in a hole or depression which retains water or is "swampy". Sagos much prefer to be on the dry than the wet side.
WATER AND FERTILIZER needs are related to the amount of light available. Unlike most plants which can wilt when dry or turn yellow from lack of fertilizer, Cycads give little indication of when to water or feed. Generally, they should be treated as a cactus and watered when almost dry.
WATERING: If grown in a container, allow the soil to become almost dry, then water thoroughly slowly adding water around the top of the soil. If the plant is receiving morning or afternoon sun or temperatures are warm, Sagos may need to be watered at least weekly. Plants grown in low light or cool temperatures may need water every few weeks or so. We generally water a plant twice. The first time wets the soil, the second watering a few minutes later soaks the soil. If planted in the landscape, water when dry, but do not keep continuously wet. Established plants can easily survive drought conditions.
FERTILIZER is generally applied during spring and late summer. Sagos growing in partial sun should receive an average rate as listed on the container, those in low light should receive only 1/4 rate. Too little plant food is far better than too much. If organic or slow release fertilizer is used, do not allow any to fall into the plant crown which is protecting the formation of future leaves.
OLD LEAVES MAY TURN YELLOW from over watering or too much fertilizer.
NEW LEAVES MAY TURN YELLOW from excess fertilizer or poor soil conditions.
Note: Once leaves turn yellow or brown, they should be removed from the plant.
Cycad Sago Palm is extremely poisonous to both humans and animals if ingested. Pets are at particular risk since they seem to find the plant very palatable.Clinical symptoms of ingestion will develop within 12 hours and may include vomiting, diarrhoea, weakness, seizures, liver failure, or hepatotoxicity characterized by icterus, cirrhosis, and ascites. The pet may appear bruised, have nose bleeds (epistaxis), melena (blood in the stool), hematochezia (bloody straining), and hemarthrosis (blood in the joints).The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center estimates a fatality rate of 50 to 75 percent when ingestion of the Sago Palm is involved. The incidence of Sago Palm ingestion by pets has risen by over 200% in the last five years. If any quantity of the plant is ingested, a poison control center or doctor should be contacted immediately. Effects of ingestion can include permanent internal damage and death.
Sumber bacaan: www.rhapisgardens.com/sagos/